Visiting the Dentist: the Sooner, the Better

Say cheese! Most children, regardless of age, know exactly what to do when the words “say cheese!” are heard: smile!

Whether your little ones have one tooth or a whole set of teeth, it’s never too soon to hop into the dentist’s chair, and treat their smiles to a little TLC. It’s up to you to educate them on (and demonstrate) proper dental care so that your children’s smiles can shine bright and healthy. Here’s a foolproof guide to the best dental care specific to each and every age.

Transition

Be sure to follow the one rule of thumb for the transition phase: the younger, the better! In order to get comfortable with visiting the dentist for biannual checkups, make sure to mark any first birthday with one special gift: a visit to the dentist. Though the first few visits may be a bit challenging, your children will feel more comfortable as time goes on.

While most kids should begin visiting the dentist by the time they’re one, some have a good excuse to wait. If your little one no longer drinks from a bottle, plan on waiting another year to schedule an appointment.

Standardization

At the age of two, every child should begin visiting the dentist twice per year. These biannual checkups will usually only include teeth cleaning until they’ve turned four. Between the ages of four and six, most children will have their first set of X-rays taken. X-rays help dentists catch cavities before they become a bigger problem.

Prevention

Beware of cavities! In order to prevent cavities and keep teeth in tip-top shape, the normal dental routine changes when your children are between the ages of six and twelve. During this time, baby teeth will give way to permanent teeth. Your dentist might suggest using sealant (a substance that bonds to teeth’s chewing surfaces) in order to prevent cavities and tooth decay.

Additionally, dentists might also suggest you schedule a visit to the orthodontist for your child. Although your children probably won’t get braces until they’ve hit teenage years, orthodontia might identify skeletal causes of crooked teeth and jaw alignment. Don’t be surprised if a visit to the orthodontist is in order.

The best way to prepare your child for dental checkups is by maintaining a day-to-day routine. If they get in the habit of brushing, flossing, and swishing, your children will say “cheese” without even being asked. Call us at 905-560-2714 to make an appointment today.
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